7th Inning Stretch, LLC — led by CEO Tom Volpe and President Pat Filippone — has purchased the Everett AquaSox (short season; Northwest League), becoming the third team owned and operated by the firm.7th Inning Stretch, LLC — led by CEO Tom Volpe and President Pat Filippone — has purchased the Everett AquaSox (short season; Northwest League), becoming the third team owned and operated by the firm. Already under 7th Inning Stretch ownership: the Stockton Ports (High Class A; California League) and the Delmarva Shorebirds (Low Class A; Sally League).
In his first move, Filippone hired Tom Backemeyer to take over as the AquaSox Executive Vice President. Backemeyer, who worked under Filippone with the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (High Class A; California League), has eight years of Minor League Baseball experience. In addition to his time with Fresno and Rancho Cucamonga, Backemeyer has also worked with the Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). Most recently, Backemeyer held the position of Vice President of Tickets with the Fresno Grizzlies during the 2008 season.
The AquaSox were previously owned by the Carfagna family, who currently has ownership of the Lake County Captains (Low Class A; Sally League) and the Lancaster JetHawks (High Class A; California League). We’re not sure whether this sale means the family is liquidating its baseball assets: this summer an attempt to sell Lancaster to an existing Pioneer League ownership group fell through, so obviously the family has assets in play. UPDATE: We’ve since been told the family will focus on its ownership in Lake County and continue to look for a buyer for Lancaster.
"We are excited to add yet another successful team like Everett to our group of franchises and look forward to working with and being involved in another great baseball community," said Volpe.
"This is a bittersweet time for our family," said Peter A. Carfagna. "We offered the club for sale with the condition that the new owners be a proper fit for the club and the community. Although their résumés speak for themselves, we are one-hundred percent confident Tom Volpe and Pat Filippone will be just that. They will have a meaningful local presence."